Jobs, Manufacturing and Trade
We know all too well that for too long, trade agreements like NAFTA have failed to level the playing field for the American worker. Here in Michigan – where the auto industry is the heart and soul of our economy – factories have shuttered, jobs have been lost, wages have been reduced and hardworking families have lost the opportunity to earn a decent living.
I’ve long said I would work with President Trump on issues that help Michigan, and that I will fight him if he threatens our values which make our nation great. When President Trump first proposed the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade deal, it did not earn the standard of my vote. But we worked very hard to make significant improvements to the deal and greatly improved the original deal because what the Trump Administration first proposed wasn’t sufficient. The final agreement earned my vote because of improvements Democrats fought for including strong labor and environmental standards, and tougher enforcement mechanisms that for the first time in the history of trade agreements could penalize companies that abuse workers.
But we have to be honest – this trade deal won’t undo the deep damage that NAFTA 1.0 did to American workers, American manufacturing and our environment. Today, factories sit empty in Michigan and across my district while workers are unable to compete with sub-par, non-union workers in other countries. USMCA will not uproot factories from overseas and bring them back home. While this trade deal is an improvement, our work is just beginning to strengthen American manufacturing, invest in workers and grow our economy.
As part of this effort to bring our economy into the 21st Century, I am proud to lead the Vehicle Innovation Act. This bipartisan legislation promotes investments in the research and development of clean vehicle and advanced safety technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. This legislation builds on the progress made by investing in successful research programs that will help improve vehicle efficiency – saving consumers money at the pump, improving energy security, and keeping us on the cutting-edge of fuel efficiency technology. I’m proud to introduce this legislation that will support jobs and ensure the cars and trucks of the future continue to be built here in America and in Michigan.